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Eddie Johnson sues the Chicago Tribune, others, for defamation

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JonathanG, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. oldhack

    oldhack Member

    Newspapers and broadcast outlets have spent millions to defend the point that reporters and editors are human and that mistakes get made, regardless of the experience level of the persons who make them.

    This is serious stuff, buddy, and turning into your latest crap about who runs the paper and who gets hired is a serious mistake.

    Don't give me crap about "try to keep up."

    I could have hired and fired your ass several times over.

    Let's hear the number of mistakes you have made, the number of corrections your paper(s) have had to make to keep you out of courtrooms.
  2. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    No shit, DyePack. But on the other hand, you can't have someone suing for libel because Ashleee Bumfuck's name is misspelled either. That's the slippery slope if malice is found in a mistake.
  3. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    This wasn't on the level of a misspelling, though.

    The logic of "an innocent mistake" gets stretched mighty thin at a certain point.

    In this case, there was more than one outlet where someone jumped to a conclusion and ran with it. As a result, one Eddie Johnson had to deal with a lot of shit for no good reason.
  4. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    No doubt the shit he had to deal with was totally unfair, but it's still not malice, unless there's something to this I don't know about. And you can't blame the Tribune entirely for the shit he's dealt with, people have been mixing him up with the "other" Eddie Johnson for years.

    It's an enormous fuck-up by the Tribune, but an enormous fuck-up alone doesn't make this applicable for successful litigation, especially when they retracted it.

    I covered the "good" Eddie Johnson, and he was a stand-up dude, and I have no doubt his intentions are good in this case. But he won't win.
  5. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Well, Johnson probably hurt himself by being a good, understanding guy and saying this has happened for years.

    If he were petty and vindictive, he would have gone off on a tangent about the Tribune fucking him over, etc.

    To me, the best outcome would be some sort of out-of-court settlement that would send a message about taking this insignificant text editing stuff more seriously. Of course, even people who get their paper sued successfully for libel manage to move on and go elsewhere (ahem, Fort Worth). So I guess light hasn't dawned on Marblehead just yet.
  6. Lucas Wiseman

    Lucas Wiseman Well-Known Member

    I received this press release this morning...


    Chicago, IL. January 11, 2007

    Eddie Johnson (“Eddie”), former basketball star with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, the University of Illinois’ Fighting Illini, and Chicago’s Westinghouse High School , and presently the television color analyst for the Suns, has resolved and settled his defamation lawsuit against Clear Channel Communications, Inc., Premiere Radio Networks, Inc., and radio personality ‘Skip’ Bayless. The settlement has been approved by the Circuit Court in Chicago.

    The lawsuit arose out of the media’s misidentification of Eddie as the person of the same name who was arrested in Florida in August for child molestation and residential burglary. On August 9, 2006, the lawsuit alleged that Bayless, while guest-hosting The Jim Rome Show on nationwide radio, falsely stated that Eddie was the man arrested for molesting an 8-year old girl and for residential burglary for entering the girl’s apartment while her mother was out. The broadcast, the lawsuit alleged, went into great descriptive detail of the assault, and then characterized Eddie as a ‘thug’. The suit alleged that Clear Channel Communications owns and operates Premiere Radio Networks, Inc., which promotes and broadcasts The Jim Rome Show.

    The parties have agreed to keep the terms of the settlement confidential. None of the defendants has admitted any liability. The resolution of this dispute permits the parties to look to the future. “I’m pleased that we could put this matter behind us”, said Eddie, “and my family and I thank these defendants for their forthright efforts to resolve the case amiably. I fervently hope that what happened to me never happens to anyone else.” Robert H. Rosenfeld, one of Eddie’s attorneys, added: “The world always has had a high regard for Eddie, and we know how very important his reputation is to him.”

    As a result of this experience, Eddie has promised to contribute a portion of the sales proceeds from his youth basketball training DVDs to charitable organizations working to combat child abuse. Eddie’s videos are sold through his website at www.jumpshotclub.com

    The lawsuit also named as defendants The Chicago Tribune Company, and Georgia Television Company, who are not parties to this resolution. The case will continue against those defendants. The case is captioned “ Johnson v. The Chicago Tribune Company, et al”, 06-L- 10771 (Circuit Court of Cook County, IL).
  7. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    There's such a thing as being too nice of a guy. Eddie Johnson (this Eddie Johnson, not the other one) is in that category.
  8. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Talk about asymmetrical warfare.
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